Assessment Center
Assessment Center
Assessment Home

Make an Appointment Online

Placement Test Information

Freshman Priority Registration

Test Results

Challenge Procedures

Frequently Asked Questions

Campus Location:
Business Building Room 109
View Map

Office Hours:

Monday - Thursday
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.,
Friday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.


(714) 895-8388
(714) 895-8149

join Our Email List

The Western Sun - The Newspaper of Golden West College

Associate Degree for Transfer
Associate Degree for Transfer

Salary Surfer
Salary Surfer

Search jobs posted at our school!

Free Newsletter - Student Health 101

Placement Test Information

To ensure priority registration, all new students are required to take the English and mathematics placement tests prior to enrollment unless they are exempted at the time of application.

COME PREPARED! If you do not test at college level, basic skills courses will be required to advance to college level. Basic skills classes do not count towards your degree.

The English, ESL and math tests are not "pass or fail" tests.  They simply measure your proficiency in English and math to help you pick the right courses for enrollment.  It is very important that students take this seriously.  There are restrictions on re-testing.  Test results are only valid for 2 years.

The test sessions are 2.5-3 hours in length. You will be taking the English and math tests in the same session. Test results will be given to you 15-30 minutes after you complete your test.

Please bring the following items to your test session:


There are 2 English tests to choose from. (SAMPLE TESTS)

  1. COMPASS computerized test, the Native Speaker of English Test
  2. COMPASS/ESL computerized test, the Non-Native Speaker of English Test

You should take the Native test if English is your first language OR if you have completed most of your education taking regular English courses. (Some students speak another language at home but have taken at least four years of high school English courses not ESL. Those persons should take the Native Speaker of English test.)


There are 3 Math tests to choose from. (SAMPLE TESTS)

  1. Elementary Algebra Test
    For students who have taken 1 year of high school algebra with a "C" grade or better.
  2. Intermediate Algebra Test
    For students who have taken at least 2 years of high school algebra and 1 year of geometry with a "C" grade or better in all courses.
  3. Precalculus Test
    For students who have taken at least 2 years of high school algebra, a semester of geometry and trigonometry with a "C" grade or better in all courses.

Please refer to the Math Advisement Chart to determine which math level to take.  Please click here to view sample questions for the math placement test.  Other practice questions can be found at the MDTP Website.

How long are my test results valid?
All test results are valid for 2 years. Be sure to carefully select the tests that you need to take. Students may retest after the validity period has expired. A challenge process is in place for students who want to challenge their placement test before the validity period has expired.

Retest Policy

Who is exempt from Assessment Testing?

Eligible exemptions from the placement test may include one of the following:

Are SAT and ACT scores accepted in place of Assessment at GWC?

SAT and ACT scores are not accepted at the community college level as an exemption from placement testing. Advanced Placement Test scores and Early Assessment Program (EAP) from CSU are still accepted and must be sent to the Enrollment Center. In order to obtain EAP clearance, a student must have a “ready” status for CSU English and/or Math.